31 December 2009


What's Love Got to Do With It?

By cultivated nature, I am not one to put things in black and white terms. Perhaps by inclination initially, but also by years of pointed practice, I've developed the habit of looking for commonalities, for points to be shared, for the 99.99% overlap in all our lives rather than the 0.01% differences.

(I know my GOP and righter-wing friends may find that hard to believe, but I also believe in the political utility of demoralizing the opposition—a tactic some of you share—so I'm not beyond portraying your wrongheadedness in extreme terms every so often, even as I try very hard not to forget that we're all in this together, are the same in almost every sense, and ask, almost beg, you to come to your senses and get on the better side of things.)

But on this matter of same-sex relationships, I've about lost my patience with my less than understanding friends who persist in supporting having the state deny my love and me and those like us what are rights given to us by God—yes, by the Creator of this Universe—by the simple fact that we were born into this world, that we are breathing.

That is the right to be considered married by our communities, as represented legitimately and legally in our governments at all levels.

The November 2008 election results in Arizona, California, and Florida hit me like a ton of bricks. I have become so numb since that I could watch what happened in Maine this past November without getting depressed, which is, in its own way, sad.

To have my rights—and this is where I am as sure as I have ever been about anything: these are my rights—voted on by my fellow citizens is insulting and demeaning. It shows a degree of suspicion of gay people as citizens, as humans, that is simply not justified.

The concerns raised by those who oppose recognizing the full human rights of LGBT people are not real.To those of you who continue to want to prevent our governments from recognizing my rights: I understand that this involves some recalibration on your part. I understand this is not what you've always believed. I understand this way of thinking bumps up against what you believe your faiths require of you. I'd ask that you look at ways people thought about relationships between folks of different colors once, and how somehow their faiths survived the change of thinking about whether that was allowed or not. (Some may never have changed their attitude about mixed-race relationships, and to those I can only extend my deepest sadness.)

Please, give this some reflection and thought.

The love Mack and I have for each other is just as real as what you and the one you love have for each other. Just as real. Just as natural. Just as human. Just as blessed. Just as Divine.

Our expressing that love and having it recognized by our governments takes nothing away from you, does not threaten your children, has no impact on whether they are more or less likely to be gay (even as it changes the likelihood that should your child be gay, she or he may express that openly and be more likely to be happy).

As we move forward, please give our love not begrudged recognition as some kind of exception ("well, you two are okay since you're our friends, but the rest of those faggots better watch out"), but give us, all of us same-sex couples now and to come, your blessing with full and open hearts.

Open your heart and see what is real, not your imaginings, not your fears. See the love.

Love's got everything to do with it: Our love as individuals for each other, and our love for other people, regardless of who they love.

Please help us secure the recognition of our rights. If you can't do that, at least please stop helping those who oppose our securing what is rightfully ours. Those rights are ours: I am sure about that. Are you so sure that they're not?

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24 December 2009


Merry Christmas 2009

Merry Christmas, 2009

Greetings one and all from the McKinley/Wilson household. We are observing an almost-completely non-traditional Christmas this year, as we are traveling tomorrow, Christmas Day, to Mack's folks' in Hooker, Oklahoma. We fly to Amarillo via Houston, then rent a vehicle to drive up to the OK panhandle. We fly back home this coming Tuesday.

Mack's mom has Alzheimer's, so this is not going to be one of those fun trips. But it will be a good trip to make, nonetheless. He saw his folks last summer, but I haven't seen 'em since August a year ago. No one is getting any younger in this world.

Since we're traveling on Christmas, we haven't done anything Christmas-motivated around here except send out cards. We don't have a tree; we didn't get decorations down from the attic to put up outside or around the house. I was afraid we'd be depressed about it, but it's gone pretty good so far. Tonight we're having a nice dinner (ham, sweet potatoes, salad, and rolls), opening our Christmas cards (have only opened a few so far), and exchanging stocking stuffers (no stockings). Maybe it's good to scale back every so often.

If you've been looking for updates here, you haven't been finding anything. I'll admit it: I've spent more time on Facebook than I have here: Little updates on my life, arguing with people about health care reform, following the updates of people ranging from my childhood to current students and colleagues. But it doesn't lend itself to longer-form writing (even with its "Notes" feature), so I don't want to let this go.

So, with luck there'll be more updates here: More pics (I'm behind on those), more commentary, and more overall updates.

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